Le Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip To The Moon) is a classic silent film by revered French director Georges Méliès. Released in 1902, this legendary 16-minute film is widely considered one of the most important works in film history, and the very first to use science fiction as its theme, incorporating special effects that were very state-of-the-art at the turn of the 19th century. It was loosely based on two popular novels of the time: Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon and H. G. Wells The First Men In The Moon. In 1993, a long-lost hand-painted color print, the only one known to exist, was rediscovered in Spain. It was in desperate condition, and so in 1999, two foundations—Fondation Groupama Gan and Fondation Technicolor—began the highly delicate preservation work of rescuing and digitizing the elements of the film. After many years of painstaking work, a magnificent restoration of the film was ready to be launched, allowing a 21st century audience to rediscover this major cinematic work. Eager to put a contemporary spin on this classic silent film and reach a new audience, the foundations decided to approach AIR’s Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel, to compose an original modern soundtrack, an enormous honor for French musicians, considering the film’s place in the canon of French cinema. With the aim of premiering at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, AIR set themselves a tight deadline, locking their studio doors and working around the clock to serve these classic images with brave new sounds. Complete with a new soundtrack by AIR, the film debuted at Cannes on May 11, 2011 to immediate and unanimous acclaim. Spurred on by their work on this short movie, AIR decided to develop the project into a full album inspired by the film. Expanding the original musical themes beyond cinematic instrumentals, the album also features the vocal talents and lyrics of Au Revoir Simone and Victoria Legrand (Beach House). The band’s lunar fascinations have been evident since the beginning of their career with the release of the seminal 1998 classic Moon Safari. Now in 2012 Nicolas and JB have returned to explore the further regions of their very unique musical “space.” Nicolas explains: "'A Trip to the Moon' is undoubtedly more organic than most of our past projects. We wanted it to sound 'handmade,' knocked together’, a bit like Méliès' special effects. Everything is played live … like Méliès' film, our soundtrack is nourished by living art." The three producers of the restored version have agreed to let EMI release a special Limited Edition version of the AIR album Le Voyage Dans La Lune, which will be released on February 7, 2012 on Astralwerks. This will consist of the album plus a bonus DVD or digital download of the restored colorized film with AIR’s original film score, strictly limited to 70,000 global copies.
Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip To The Moon) is a classic short 16 minute film by Georges Méliès from 1902. It took 12 years to restore and AIR has done the soundtrack. It is considered one of the first sci-fi films ever made. The album + film will be released Feb 7th but you can preorder via iTunes or Amazon. The BBC has a little feature with some clips of the film and interviews with the members of AIR.